Those who have been paying attention to Springfield Soccer for awhile now know that a talented senior-to-be (with her twin U12 brothers) moved here from Columbia last summer. The player I’m talking about is Karissa Nedoma who joins the District 12 Champion Kickapoo Chiefs for the Spring season this year.
Here’s what Chris Miller, Head Coach of the Jefferson City HS Jays had to say about Karissa’s departure:
Karissa is an excellent high school player who always puts a lot of pressure on your defense because of her speed, athletic ability and technical skills. She is always a concern because she can score goals in bunches and is equally adept at distributing. I know Kickapoo got a great player and that our district teams certainly won’t miss having to deal with her at playoff time.
I met with Karissa last week following an indoor match at Lake Country Soccer, where she and her teammates, all girls, were playing mano-a-mano in the CoEd league without worrying about bringing in any boys. That speaks to the approach I see the Kickapoo girls taking as they ramp up with the goal of going farther this year then last, something a senior dominated group should be looking at.
While Karissa will play only her senior year at Kickapoo, following three strong years at Columbia Rock Bridge, she and her family are not strangers to Springfield. While the Nedoma’s hail from Milwaukee, Karissa began her soccer career at Lake Country when the family lived here during her 3rd to 5th grade years. The move to Columbia occured before 6th grade where she continued her career with the Carrera SC, a strong Central Missouri squad. That was followed by two years of travel to St. Louis, playing initially with the Wolfpack followed by a year with Terry Kelly and his St. Louis SC squad. So she’s been honing her competitive chops across a wide swath for the past three years. With the move to Springfield, she feels she’s found another group of strong players on the U18 Springfield Soccer Club and it doesn’t hurt that she doesn’t have to travel as far. It’s also been an excellent way to make new friends after going through one of the hardest things you can ask a kid to do, leave her friends and finish High School in a new school. I went to two schools but I made the move before my sophomore year. My sister Julie split her time between Radford (Honolulu) and McCluer North (Florissant) and she’s survived. Thank heavens since I wasn’t certain I would survive all the crying that occured as we spent several days making that 4000 mile move 🙂
Karissa has shown the strength and positive attitude necessary to make the move, if not a non-issue, one that has certainly shown her what she is capable of personally. What about on the pitch? Here’s what Jeremy Alumbaugh, her Club coach and also Springfield Soccer Club Technical Director, has to say:
Anytime you get a phone call about a new player moving into town you always keep your fingers crossed that they can make an impact in your club. We were very fortunate to pick up a great player and outstanding person in Karissa Nedoma. At her first practice you could tell she had a great personality that would allow her to fit in right away with her new teammates. She has the qualities every coach looks for, workrate, dedication, and passion for the game. Her vision to see the field allows her to make great use of her individual skills by taking space on the dribble, but still very much playing within the framework of the team. I Look forward to watching her develop at Drury in the years to come.
I first heard about Karissa last spring, when some of my contacts started whispering about a possible move to Springfield. Of course, hand in hand with those whispers came the question of what school she would end up at 🙂 The family is building a new home and Karissa is just moving in this week after an extended construction period. Just another step in the process of becoming a Chief and joining Coach Tom Davidson’s squad for the upcoming season that begins February 28th. Here’s what he had to say about his new senior:
I know Chris Baker is getting a quality player and more importantly a quality person. I only wish she would have been at KHS all four of her years. I’m thankful and honored that we get one.
The final question had to be about how she hooked up with Coach Chris Baker and the Lady Panthers. Turns out that shortly after arriving in Springfield last June, following the finish of her junior year at Rock Bridge, she mailed her soccer resume, along with a highlights DVD she and her brothers had put together, to Coach Baker. Very soon after that she got a call and an invitation to make an official visit. The visit was followed soon afterwards by the Drury Soccer Camp where she met the incoming freshman players who were also participating. That pretty much sealed the deal as Karissa made her decision early and enjoyed taking in the home games last Fall. It says a lot about the program as it means that we will be fortunate enough to enjoy four more years of Karissa’s development when she might have been tempted to move a bit farther from home. She likes the size of the school and as long as she’s living on campus, she’ll get the best of both worlds, with Mom & Dad’s laundromat close at hand but the freedom to grow as a college student as well.
Time to wrap this one up. I’ll let Karissa’s coach at Columbia Rock Bridge, Marc VanDover, offer the epilogue:
Karissa will go down as one of my favorite players. She was full of it even as a freshman. I never had a player that would work so hard to get herself into position to score and could never put one in. She could be in front of the goal with no one around and miss a shot. I finally called her over to the sideline and told her to just relax. I told her to open the garage door, park the car and shut the door. She had no idea what I was talking about but she scored in the next few minutes.
Karissa is all about soccer and what every coach would want from a player. Loyal, honest, 110%, a believer of the game, always a smile and humor that could trick Mark Twain.